The Uncertain Hour

Standing at the threshold of society, newly released inmates plan their next steps

Hudson Street, just off of Whalley Avenue, looks like any other street after a hard winter. The asphalt is pocked with fresh potholes, the sidewalks cracked from months of ice. Debris litters the edges of the road—stray tires, plastic bottles, scraps of clothing, a discarded pair of shoes. The shoes look like black-and-white low-top Converse, but their rubber soles are thinner and flimsier, and the ripped canvas bears no insignia. They are state-issued prison sneakers, given to inmates by the Department of Correction On one. . . Read more
Edward Columbia
Finding Its Center

The Yale Center for British Art restores Louis Kahn’s vision

The Yale Center for British Art is a shell of its former self. The once-open portico at the entrance has been sealed off and replaced by a single small door. The lobby is a construction zone draped in blue tarp. The museum, closed for renovations this past January, will not reopen until spring 2016. As I walk to the front desk, I feel I’m interrupting a work in progress. Stripped down to its steel frame, the YCBA is ready for renewal. The conservation project is. . . Read more
Catie Liu
Crumbs

A layered look a the human body

I used to know two quarrelsome sisters, the younger of whom had a thing about skin cells. When they fought, the older sister’s coup de force would be to strip naked, run into the younger sister’s bedroom, and roll around in her sheets, yelling “SKIN CELLS SKIN CELLS!” It’s the first thing I think of in the Yale Mammalian Evolutionary Morphology Lab at 10 Sachem Street as Dr. Gary Aronsen, the lab manager, lifts a top-hinged cabinet door and wheels out a table. Much like. . . Read more
Katy Osborn
Listening to Africa

Behind the scenes of Yale’s first Africa Salon

Students at Yale’s Africa Salon Early on a Saturday morning in March, I found myself surrounded by African artists, speakers, and performers in the basement of the Afro-American Cultural Center. We ate Egyptian salad and South African banana bread for breakfast, and we didn’t talk much. I assumed that the others were nervous, like me, and thinking over what they were going to say. We were preparing to participate in the Africa Salon, billed as “Yale’s first-ever contemporary African arts fest.” A month or so. . . Read more
Coryna Ogunseitan
The Dream House

A lifetime of dolls under one roof

Renee Silvester’s collection of dolls When you walk into Calling All Dolls, a doll shop and repair facility in Cobalt, Connecticut, the atmosphere feels tense. It’s as if you suddenly interrupted a group conversation and everyone looked in a different direction, trying to ignore the intrusion. Dolls with moony eyes and plastic hair, porcelain dolls with tattered Victorian dresses, designer dolls with photo-realistic eyes sit across from each other, stuffed in a room and suspended in a disrupted moment. They don’t frighten the shop’s owner,. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger
Expect the Worst

In an age of false security, preppers plan for disaster

The walls of Nick Provost’s suburban Connecticut living room are decorated with a taxidermied deer head and a few grandmotherish tchotchkes in the colors of the American flag. A flat-screen television occupies one corner. Provost’s three blonde daughters, ages 9, 8, and 7, chase each other through the room. About a dozen people sit around on couches, chairs, and stools. Nick Provost, a boyish 28-year-old with a warm, crooked smile, lies on the floor. A black strap called a Hasty Harness is wrapped between his. . . Read more
Isabelle Taft
Evergreen’s Memory Upload

A cemetery app brings the dead to the cloud

The walk to New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery prepares you for where you’re going. Yale New Haven Hospital, a nursing facility, and the Jewish Home for the Aged line Davenport Avenue leading up to the wrought iron gates. “RIP” is written in Sharpie on metal lampposts surrounding the grounds. Once, I saw the leathery face of a butchered pig lying in the street. But on a Sunday morning, as I passed through Evergreen’s brick entrance, the words “Hello and Welcome…” appeared on my phone over a. . . Read more
Elena Saavedra Buckley
Buy The Book

What happens when professors assign their own writing

At the beginning of every semester, Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres stands at the front of the classroom and opens his wallet. He pulls out crisp bills and hands them out, one by one, to the passing law students. The students walk out not only with their casebooks, but also with ten dollars from the author himself. In a 2005 New York Times opinion article titled “Just What the Professor Ordered,” Ayres sparked a national debate when he wrote, “Professors’ incentives in choosing textbooks. . . Read more
Sarah Holder
The Panthean Temple’s Occult Community

Apartment rituals with Connecticut’s Wiccans

Nothing seems to shock Alicia. The best anyone can manage is to make her laugh. She doesn’t emit a chuckle, exactly. It’s more a thrum, a trill, always drawn out a beat too long. It’s what I hear when I ask her on the phone if I can join any of the events at the Panthean Temple. Weekly rituals are open to the public, so she sends me a friend request on Facebook and tells me that next Saturday’s gathering will be an “Ostara.” But. . . Read more
Jacob Potash